Relationships Are Everything To Horses
Equus is a herd animal, living for millions of years in small family groups called bands, often made up on average of between 2-6 horses. These Bands are very much like our own families....mostly consisting of a dad (stallion), mum (alpha mare), sisters, aunties and their offspring.
It is crucial to note that horses possess a strong inclination to form intimate connections with their family groups, making them a perfect fit for family-oriented environments. However, it is important to earn the acceptance of our equine companions, as they will only extend their familial acceptance if they are content. Remember that becoming an honorary member of a horse's familial unit is not a given, but rather a privilege that must be earned.
For horses to lead a fulfilling life, it is essential to provide them with an environment that meets their natural needs. This includes allowing them to live with their fellow equines and giving them ample time to graze and roam. Additionally, treating these majestic creatures with kindness and empathy instead of harshness or rigidity is crucial. Approaching them with requests rather than demands can also help establish a positive relationship.
Only once they are happy and all their needs are being met, will they do us the highest honour of bonding with us and treat us like their family too. Like most people, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my family so if your horse sees you as their family there is nothing they wouldn’t do for you too.
It is then that we see amazing feats that can be accomplished as a team, as are littered through history between humans and their horses. Therefore trying to force horses into anything is a sure-fire way to alienate any previous bonds you may have made, and remove yourself as far from being accepted into your horses family band as possible.
So never do we need stronger tack, such as bits, or whips or items that force or restrict.....and you only have to think of how you would feel if one of your closest family members treated you with such harshness. As it’s all about the relationship with your horse for the horse, and your every action counts towards their view of you.
Therefore the effort you put in to forge the bonds to cement your horse’s ultimate trust in you is what makes him or her jump higher, or work harder etc......rather than any tack or force.
We see at our sanctuary that even with emotionally damaged horses, who sadly have previously been abused and traumatized, we need to be gentle and patient with them to get that much-desired bond that is obvious to see in all good horse and human pairings, which can take time but is well worth the wait.
Only then will your horse do all you ask of them, not because you made them but because they want to, with the added bonus of doing it because they love you too ❤️❤️❤️
CObserve this remarkable footage of a wild horse struggling to find his way back to his family after being separated during a muster. This video vividly showcases how separation can take an emotional toll on these magnificent creatures.